(MRN) Kyle Busch took home both available trophies from Pocono Raceway this weekend winning the Gander Outdoors 150 Saturday and the Gander Outdoors 400 Sunday.
Starting in twenty-eighth and storming through the field early, Busch took command late in the final stage with only his team mate at Joe Gibbs Racing, Daniel Suarez, challenging him at the end. Suarez, benefitting from both Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch losing their top two qualifying positions when they and eleven other teams failed post qualifying inspection, sat on the pole and was a factor for most of the day.
Rounding out the top five were Alex Bowman, Harvick, and Erik Jones.
Harvick’s struggles at the “Tricky Triangle” continued Sunday, he extended his winless streak there to thirty-six.
It was a good day for JGR with all four teams, Busch, Suarez, Jones, and Denny Hamlin finishing in the top ten.
Martin Truex Junior, the third member of the “Big 3,” never was a real threat all day finishing fifteenth. Hendrick Motorsports had three of its four teams, Bowman, William Byron, and Chase Elliott all finishing in the top ten . Jimmie Johnson had another frustrating day finishing seventeenth.
Bubba Wallace was victim to a brake failure late and suffered a scary crash in turn one that pushed the race into overtime.
There were thirteen lead changes among ten drivers (Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Hamlin, Elliott, Jones, Harvick, Byron, and Kyle Busch) and seven cautions for twenty-nine laps.
Stage wins and those precious playoff points went to Elliott and Harvick.
NASCAR CUP SERIES
Top 10 Finishers in the Gander Outdoors 400
DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED
1. Kyle Busch (28) 52
2. Daniel Suarez (Pole) 29
3. Alex Bowman (10) —
4. Kevin Harvick (29) 30
5. Erik Jones (3) 11
6. William Byron (R) (38) 10
7. Chase Elliott (6) 14
8. Ryan Newman (9) —
9. Kurt Busch (7) 11
10. Denny Hamlin (2) 5
RACE NOTES …
With the NASCAR enhanced weekend at Pocono Raceway, teams qualified before they were put through tech inspection. When thirteen teams failed, it made the back of the field look like “the front.” Positions 28 through 40 were a “who’s who” of racing: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, William Byron, Bubba Wallace, and Kasey Kahne … Kyle Busch earned wins 191 and 192 in his #Chasing200 quest to match Richard Petty’s career wins with Busch’s career total wins across all three NASCAR national touring series.
NASCAR CUP SERIES Playoff Push After 21 Races
1. Kyle Busch 6 Wins and 35 Playoff Points
2. Kevin Harvick 6 Wins and 33 Playoff Points
3. M. Truex Jr. 4 Wins and 26 Playoff Points
4. Clint Bowyer 2 Wins and 10 Playoff Points
5. Joey Logano 1 Win and 7 Playoff Points
6. Erik Jones 1 Win and 5 Playoff Points
7. Austin Dillon 1 Win and 5 Playoff Points
WINLESS DRIVERS POINTS
8. Kurt Busch 677
9. Brad Keselowski 644
10. Kyle Larson 626
11. Denny Hamlin 618
12. Ryan Blaney 612
13. Aric Almirola 587
14. Chase Elliott 569
15. Jimmie Johnson 547
16. Alex Bowman 496
17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -56
18. Paul Menard -56
19. Ryan Newman -88
20. Daniel Suarez -96